Moving from Compliance to Coherence Conference – March 9, 2017

Presentations, Handouts and Additional Materials

Session A

A. 1 – Opening Minds and Transforming Lives: Journey to Coherence
A district’s journey to coherence led to transformational change to support 21st Century learning. Participants will learn about a variety of approaches the Canton Public Schools used to shift from teacher directed learning to student centered learning. The session will provide an opportunity to examine best practices using effective feedback that can drive human capital in your school or district to a higher level and engage in dialogue how educators created a growth mindset across the district using innovation and creativity.

Presenters: Dr. Jordan E. Grossman, Assistant Superintendent of Schools; Mrs. Pam Hamad, Principal Canton Middle School; Mr. Kevin Hanlon, Principal Canton Intermediate School; Dr. Ruth Kidwell, English Teacher/Department Chair; Mrs. Jennifer Peterson, 6th Grade Teacher; Jon Bishop, K-12 STEM Coordinator


A. 2 – Evolving PLCs: From Building to District Level Sharing and Learning
What does it look like, sound like and feel like when PLC teams are effective? How do we bring coherence about expectations and outcomes for PLC teams throughout a school and across a district? This session will provide participants with the process Granby Public Schools used to define the work of PLC teams, strategies to provide effective feedback to move teams forward and structures that allowed teams to share their learning within a school and across the district. In addition, we will discuss how our district intervention process is supported by PLC teams and the feedback loop that results from this process.

Presenters: Patricia Law, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development


A. 4 – Focus on Feedback: Aligning Structures, Professional Learning, and Teacher Evaluation
West Hartford Public Schools will share how one school has developed a multi-year professional learning experience, focused on formative assessment and feedback on student work. The school leadership team has reinforced this work by creating structures that support teacher learning and implementation and leveraging teacher evaluation as a vehicle for feedback. The presentation focuses on applying research in adult learning and professional development, best practices in leadership, and instructional practice to create a program that aligns district and school goals with teacher professional learning, teacher evaluation, and student outcomes. Participants will deepen their understandings of the research base around effective professional development and the role of feedback in learning for teachers and students.

Presenters: Dr. Chad D. Ellis, Department Supervisor for History & Social Studies; Mike Rollins, Department Supervisor for Science; Dan Zittoun, Principal


Session B

B. 1 – A Systems Approach to Engaging Students In Their Own Learning
“Where am I going? How am I going? Where next?” According to John Hattie these questions “feed up, feed back and feed forward,” and the answers to them can be gathered in many ways to guide student learning, teacher development, and district alignment of processes and approaches. Coventry Public Schools shares how its district wide approach harnesses the power of feedback to refine systems, enhance adult learning, improve pedagogy, and increase students’ ownership of their own learning. In this session explore a district approach to engaging students in metacognitive feedback on their own learning through a model that involves students from kindergarten through high school in setting standards based learning goals and targets and monitoring their own progress on their learning throughout the year. Learn about the professional development that support this and other district endeavors related to feedback, and acquire strategies for using a classroom walkthrough protocol to generate actionable data on the integration of best practices in instruction into teaching, to track teacher implementation of professional learning, and to provide data on the achievement of aspects of school and district improvement plans.

Presenters: Michele Mullaly, Director of Teaching and Learning; David Petrone, Superintendent of Schools; Beth Giller, Principal G. H. Robertson School; Dena DeJulius, Principal Capt. Nathan Hale Middle School; Jennifer Trueman, K-12 Mathematics Specialist; Cathie Drury, Director of Educational Technology


B. 2 – Creating a Coherent Critical Thinking Framework for Feedback
This session will focus on the use of a standards aligned critical thinking rubric to provide a coherent framework for setting expectations and providing consistent communication, evaluation, and effective feedback for teachers and students. This work has supported districts in measuring the high-leverage skill of critical thinking in K-12 students. The implementation of a critical thinking rubric through a process of social construction has contributed to a common understanding and an increase in the reliability of skill-based assessments throughout a school/district. Building a coherent framework for student assessment and effective feedback moves student achievement forward in a consistent manner aligned to teacher student learning objectives/goals.

Presenters: Susan Palma, EdAdvance, Professional Learning Specialist; Carly Weiland Quiros, EdAdvance, Professional Learning Specialist/ TEAM Field Staff


B. 3 – Trust: The Foundation for Building Meaningful Feedback
East Lyme Public Schools will explain the importance of developing trust relationships throughout the school environment in order to improve teacher and student performance. The session focus on how to use the teacher evaluation plan as a tool to develop meaningful trust between a teacher and administrator and the importance of making feedback into a collaborative process in order to improve teacher performance. Participants will walk away with specific examples of how to implement this system in their schools and learn best practices for making feedback meaningful.

Presenters: Dr. Judy DeLeeuw, Principal; Elizabeth Brouillard, Language Arts Teacher - Grades 7/8; Carla Woitovich, Library Media Specialist


B. 6 – Measuring Growth Mindset in the Classroom
With the impending transition in Connecticut to Smarter Balanced growth scores, a paradigm shift to a growth mindset is essential for all educators. Educators from the Bloomfield Public Schools and the Windham Public Schools have teamed up to develop a Mindset Walkthrough Tool to observe and quantify growth mindset within classroom environments. Attendees can expect to apply different aspects of the tool to samples and classroom artifacts, ultimately rating the examples on a mindset continuum, ranging from fixed to growth. Activities will focus on classroom environment, student engagement and commitment to learning. Participants will learn to apply a feedback protocol that nurtures a growth mindset for teachers, increases visual supports and classroom evidence of a growth mindset, as well as encourages students to assimilate this productive method of thinking about their abilities to their own learning. With the impending transition in Connecticut to Smarter Balanced growth scores, a paradigm shift to a growth mindset is essential for all educators.

Presenters: Bethany Silver, Assistant Superintendent, Accountability and Performance; Tracy Youngberg, Assistant Superintendent, Teaching, Leading and Learning


Session C

C. 1 – Incorporating Peer Feedback into Professional Learning and Teacher Evaluation
About ten years ago the Montville Public Schools incorporated professional learning visits (PLVs) into its professional learning community (PLC) process. This session provides insight into how these professional learning visits have evolved to become an integral component of Montville's Teacher Evaluation Plan and a valuable strategy for personalized professional learning. The goals of the session are to demonstrate how teachers use peer feedback to enhance their work on performance and practice and student learning goals and ultimately use self-reflection to determine their own peer feedback ratings.

Presenters: Laurie Pallin, Assistant Superintendent; Mary Jane Dix, Principal, Leonard J.Tyl Middle School


C. 2 – Utilizing Data Visualizations to Provide Dynamic and Effective Feedback
Shelton Public Schools utilizes data visualization dashboards to provide dynamic feedback to all stakeholders. These visualizations provide feedback to administrators and teachers as a means to inform instructional decisions. In addition, these dynamic visualizations have been used to leverage and support district needs.

Presenters: Tina Henckel, Asst. Director of STEM & Data Management; Dan DiVito, Director of Technology; Victoria White, Supervisor of Literacy, Assessment &
Professional Learning; Lorraine Williams, Principal; Mary Beth Trafecante, Reading Consultant; Melissa Manning, Math Consultant


C. 3 – Personal Professional Learning Plans- 3PL
Over the past two years, the PDEC for Stafford Public Schools has investigated how to invigorate professional learning to align with new standards and research. With the roll out of the new Educator Evaluation and Professional Support System, most of the emphasis was placed on developing and refining the evaluation requirements. Only recently has the district invested focused energy and time on the "Professional Support System" segment. It seems to be the forgotten portion of the revised evaluation legislation. Through the facilitation of a PDEC grant, the district has begun a process to improve professional learning for all certified staff. The focus of the work of the PDEC has been on innovative professional designs and adult learning principles. During this presentation, participants will learn how the PDEC used a collaborative inquiry process to develop personal professional learning plans- 3PL. Examples of activities along with insights about our progress will be shared and opportunities for collegial discussions and input will be provided for participants.

Presenters: Michael J. Bednarz, Director of Curriculum and Instruction; Steven Montgomery, Assistant Principal, Stafford Elementary School; Thomas Vaghini, Media Specialist, Stafford High School; Amanda Galligan, Teacher – Grade Two


C. 4 – Using Effective Feedback to Support Early Career Teachers
This session will focus on the relationship between TEAM and Teacher Evaluation within a high-quality professional learning system. Participants will explore the role of effective feedback to support the professional growth of early career teachers, and by the end of the session, will develop an action plan to bring back to their district to further the conversation.

Presenters: Patty Hart-Cole, Education Specialist and TEAM Field Staff, ACES; Carly Weiland-Quiros Education Specialist and TEAM Field Staff, EdAdvance


C. 6 – Beyond the SLO: Ensuring Student Learning Through Coherence
Cromwell Public Schools will share system processes that support teachers moving from a narrow focus on SLO outcomes to a deeper understand of student outcomes based upon multiple measures. Data collected is analyzed by faculty to determine a continuum of growth towards school and district goals. Presenters will share strategies for structuring the school calendar and schedule to facilitate the work of teachers and administrators.

Presenters: Paula Talty, Superintendent of Schools; Fran Difiore, Principal, Cromwell High School; Katie Guerrette, Vice Principal, Edna C.Stevens and Woodsider
Intermediate School; Michaela Rafferty, Teacher - Grade Five


For information regarding the February 2016 conference please visit the archived conference resources →
For information regarding the February 2015 conference please visit the archived conference resources →